Nexter awarded contract for the development of the CAESAR 6X6 Mark II new generation (NG) artillery system by the French Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), the programme’s prime contractor. The contract provides for an initial four-year development and qualification phase, after which the CAESAR 6X6 Mark II will enter production. In 2024, the DGA will have two options: either to launch the production of 109 new CAESARs 6X6 Mark II, or to launch the production of 33 new CAESARs 6X6 Mark II supplemented by the retrofit of the 76 CAESARs in service today. Thus, 109 CAESARs 6X6 Mark II will be delivered to the French army’s artillery regiments by 2031. The contract also includes an initial fixed-price support service for the future artillery systems for a period of two years.
The new generation CAESAR 6×6 retains the current configuration of the artillery system, which has proven itself in operations (more than 100,000 rounds fired in OPEX since 2009) and has been a success in export. The main improvements concern crew protection and mobility. To this end, Nexter is adding a level 2 mine and ballistic armoured cabin, resistant to improvised explosive devices and small-calibre ammunition. In addition, the vehicle’s mobility has been completely redesigned by Arquus. The CAESAR 6X6 Mark II is equipped with a new engine (460 HP compared to 215 HP previously), a new automatic gearbox and a new chassis. Finally, the CAESAR 6X6 Mark II carries the latest version of fire control software, and the cab is prepared to accommodate the new CONTACT radio. The Thales BARAGE jammer can also be installed on the CAESAR 6×6 Mark II. The CAESAR 6X6 Mark II will be offered to export customers.
The CAESAR (CAmion Équipé d’un Système d’ARtillerie; French: Truck equipped with an artillery system) is a French self-propelled 155 mm/52-calibre gun-howitzer, installed on a 6×6 truck chassis. Examples built for the French Army use a Renault Sherpa 10 chassis, examples built for export utilize the 6×6 Unimog U2450L chassis.CAESAR was developed in the 1990s as a technology demonstrator by the French state-owned company GIAT Industries, in cooperation with Lohr Industrie. It was first shown in public in 1994. Four years later, a pre-production model underwent trials with the French Army. The CAESAR platform was developed by the former GIAT Industries (now known as Nexter) and is operated by the Danish, French, Indonesian, Saudi Arabian and Thai militaries.
The CAESAR is a wheeled, 155mm 52-caliber self-propelled howitzer. It holds 18 rounds and is typically operated by a crew of five, though if necessary, the CAESAR can be operated by as few as three persons. It can be transported by C-130 or A400M, and has a firing range of approximately 42 km using an Extended Range, Full Bore (ERFB) shell, and more than 50 km using rocket assisted shells. The system is integrated with a fully computerized system, providing automatic control. During Eurosatory 2006The additional armor will protect against IEDs and roadside bombs, anti-vehicle mines and 155 mm shells landing as close as five meters (16 feet) away from the vehicle. It can be added to the cabs of existing CAESARs. CAESAR was exhibited with an automated laying system based on the SIGMA 30 inertial navigation system.